At the one-day mini-convention the club put on, I decided to host an extended session of my “What a Tanker!” Russian winter end of 1941 affair.
WillB donated the use of his tanks if required as he went off to play a CoC game, so my first game had players select his 38t and one of my PzIII vs his Russian Valentine. I joined the Russians with the Lend-Lease Matilda so making it an even 2 on 2 battle.
The German instructions were to 1. control the town, 2. secure the bridge, 3. and for complete victory get one tank off the Russian side of the table.
The Russians were to 1. have the engineers (in the truck) escorted to the bridge, 2. ensure the bridge’s destruction, 3. and if possible control the town for a complete victory.
I used a numbered chip out of the bag initiative system rather than the roll off by players thereby all of them knowing the sequence. More of a ‘unsuredness’ factor.
The truck also used the command dice but ignored all but the ‘Drive’ and ‘Wild’ dice. The Germans ignored the truck (and the player’s did not even ask me what it was for!) but as I stopped at the bridge and had soldiers get off the truck and indicated that future ‘Wild’ dice would now indicate the engineering progress of wiring the bridge. NOW the truck was targeted and, as it had just stopped, were the explosives unloaded? A dice roll indicated no and so a fire ball ensued!
|Russian main means for the bridge's destruction go up in a fire ball|
However the Germans were nonetheless getting pounded. No outright destruction but a slow reduction of temporary command dice until the PzIII needed to be abandoned after my Matilda gained his flank within the town. About half way through the battle, my tank was the only one with all its command dice intact. I managed to slowly (I was driving a “slow” tank, but I do throw lots of ones!) around the backside of the town to hit the 38t in the butt. No destruction again but the German crew again was forced to bailout so having the Russians protecting the bridge.
|The Russian Lend-Lease|
|taking a shot at the PzIII|
|and later the 38t in the rear|
With the second session, a new group of players, and while leaving the terrain the same, had the orientation change 90 degrees and now three players aside. I played German this time with a ‘fast’ 38t to make better use of all the 1s aka “Drive” dice I usually roll.
I gave up on any scenario description - players tend to forget those anyway and just blast away in any event! I also gave up trying to gain a turn by turn description as “then that tank moved 4 inches, turning its turret and loaded a shell” is not very interesting. So I will say that I was brewed up on turn 2 and a Russian shortly thereafter. Wow, it can happen, just not often…
I had us come in again at a random position in a couple of turns later.
My second 38t sat a few turns at the table edge, firing away ineffectually at a T-34 in the town a couple of obstructions away (meaning aiming is harder) and l loudly declared that I uncharacteristically am not rolling the 1s I should be with a fast tank and all. Well OF COURSE the next initiative I now roll FOUR 1s and a ‘Wild’ dice…so off I raced having the most fun racking up the inches. HOWEVER, I ran out of distance while in the middle of the town not quite having the angle to hit a Russian Valentine in the rear and now having that T-34 in my rear! Oops, bad tactics.
|reversing out of trouble but into a close firing angle|
But with the dice being as they are I managed to back up thereby gaining the T-34 in my sights as it had moved out from behind the building to put a shot into me but unable to fire. I too, not able so we finally move to positions opposite a snow-covered fence.
|after a few turns of maneuver now across the fence|
With after an extended dinner break and near end of the session time, the game dissolved but at least we had a couple of brew ups. Early war tanks, it was concluded, may get the 1 or 2 dice difference in strike vs armour throws to reduce the enemy’s effectiveness bit-by-bit but hard (not impossible but hard) to get the 3 dice difference with only 4 or 5 dice thrown needed for immediate kills compared to large volume of dice which are rolled in late war tanks.
But nice to finally have all the snow covered terrain and white-washed tanks on the table.